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SFF Author: Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness(1971- )
Patrick Ness is an American author, journalist and lecturer who lives in London. He holds both American and British citizenship (British since 2005). He published his first story in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on his first novel when he moved to London in 1999. Since then he has published four novels.He taught creative writing at Oxford University and has written and reviewed for The Daily Telegraph, The TLS, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian. He currently reviews for The Guardian.


The Knife of Never Letting Go: A voice that will stay with you

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in the CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness. The series is set on a world colonized some time ago by settlers who met a few surprises upon their arrival. The biggest was the effect of a plague/virus, which caused all males (human and animal) to uncontrollably and constantly broadcast their thoughts so everyone hears what they were thinking. Because the thoughts couldn’t be turned off or tuned out,

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The Ask and the Answer: Memorable characters and breakneck plotting

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer is the second book in Patrick Ness’ CHAOS WALKING trilogy and picks up immediately where The Knife of Never Letting Go ended, with Todd surrendering to Mayor Prentiss in order to save Viola. This is the beginning of a complex relationship between the two as well as the bifurcation of Todd and Viola’s storylines. In the first, Todd, thanks to the Mayor’s control over what happens to Viola,

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Monsters of Men: A more than satisfying close

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

The final book in Patrick Ness’s CHAOS WALKING trilogy, Monsters of Men, brings this highly recommended series to a more than satisfying close. In doing so, much as he did with book two, Ness expands the storyline and the depth, in this case offering up an entirely new perspective.

Monsters of Men begins where The Ask and the Answer ended, with Todd freeing the Mayor and allowing him to take control of the city so as to defend it against the Spackle army that has just attacked,

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A Monster Calls: The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

At seven minutes past midnight, Conor O’Malley is visited by a monster. But it’s not the monster he’s expecting. This monster is wild and ancient. This monster comes in the form of a yew tree that usually stands atop the hill Conor can see from his bedroom window, in the middle of the graveyard. Except that now it is here, outside his bedroom window, and it wants something from Conor.

Conor O’Malley started getting nightmares after his mother got sick. In them he has terrible visions,

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More Than This: Original and refreshing YA

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness casts his line with five words, and we are hooked: “Here is the boy, drowning.” Seth is sixteen years old when we meet him, and about to die. He is out at sea with the icy tide dragging him out further and further in a terrifying opening for Ness’s Young Adult novel, More Than This. And then his shoulder blade “snaps in two so loudly he can hear the crack.” Seth drowns.

But impossibly,

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here: The invasion of Earth and other teenage problems

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The problem with writing about unremarkable and average people is that they are unremarkable and average. In what is basically one long novel-sized homage to Xander from Buffy, Patrick Ness tackles what it is to be the underdog in his latest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

Mikey lives in a nondescript American town, trying to navigate the pitfalls of high school. There have been various catastrophes in the town’s history: a vampire invasion,

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Monstrous Affections: Chock full of horror and hormones

Monstrous Affections by Kelly Link & Gavin Grant 

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales, a new anthology by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, was an interesting and surprising read. Interesting because, duh, anything the duo behind Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet puts together has to be great. And surprising because nothing on the cover prepared me for its YA-focus.

And let’s talk about the cover for a second, because it is incredible. Red thistles explode out of line-drawn stems.

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Next SFF Author: Rachel Neumeier
Previous SFF Author: Edith Nesbit

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October 2023